The Acting Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Dr. Vincent Onome Akpotaire has said that NATCOM Consortium, owners of NITEL/MTEL now NTEL, have so far proved that their takeover of the once moribund enterprises is a step in the right direction as they have within a short time of acquisition turned them around with the state-of- the -art equipment and an impressive roll out plan.
Akpotaire stated this in Lagos on Wednesday when he a led Post Privatisation Monitoring team from the Bureau to carry out a performance evaluation of the new owners based on the covenants in the Sales Purchase Agreement (SPA) and Post Acquisition Plan (PAP).
He recalled the several failed attempts to privatise the two former government entities and expressed happiness with the encouraging efforts put in by the core investor to revamp the two companies.
According to the BPE boss the performance of the new owners so far has given the Bureau the confidence that NITEl/MTEL would once again work.
Akpotaire expressed delight with the plan by the new telecoms service provider to have about 700,000 subscribers on its network by the end of June 2016 and also taking the lead in the provision of 4 G.LTE services in the country.
He also said it was gladdening to note that NATCOM had started on a very good promissory welfare package for its staff which would lead to committed and dedicated employees that would be free of compromise.
While stressing that the monitoring was not vindictive but aimed at corrective measures in the event that the core investor had derailed and to allow the government to assist on policy and economic issues, the BPE Acting boss said the exercise will address all the issues and pave way for a robust NTEL operations in Nigeria and beyond.
Also speaking, the Director of Post Privatisation Monitoring in the Bureau, Mr. Chigbo Anichebe said that with takeover of the two enterprises by NATCOM, the jinx of failed privatization of NITEL/MTEL had been broken. He added that the Bureau would continue to support the core investor to succeed.
The Director of Information and Communications in the Bureau, Mallam Sanusi Sule urged the core investor to step up the publicity of its activities for Nigerians to know what it was doing.
Earlier, the Chairman of NATCOM, Dr. Olatunde Ayeni had informed the BPE monitors that the company had launched its products in Abuja and Lagos and that, plans had been concluded to roll out in Port-Harcourt.
He said that though the company was operating under a tough economic climate especially with the dwindling financial situation in the country, “NTEL is poised to be the leader in super fast services and telecoms’ services in the next five years”.
He added that the company has 388 sites in Abuja and Lagos.
During the Monitoring Visit, the BPE team was taken on a tour of the company’s facilities at NECOM House Marina and Ikoyi where brand new and top class telecom equipment are being deployed.